The work of the California Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Teams – more commonly called “Hazmat Crews” – encompasses a range of activities from routine pre-planned work, such as soil remediation, to handling emergency incidents along major state thoroughfares, such as fuel spills following vehicle crashes.
Caltrans considers them to be the “unsung heroes” of the Golden State’s transportation network as their work is “pivotal to fostering a safe highway system.”
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, incidents that occur while hazmat shipments are in transit remain one of most frequent – and costly – types of hazmat remediation work across the country. According to year-to-date data tracked by PHMSA, 3,457 “in transit” hazmat incidents have occurred so far in 2018, costing a total more than $33.4 million in damages and clean-up expenses.
That’s out of a total of 12,904 overall hazmat incidents that have occurred to date this year, the agency noted, which includes events that happen in loading, unloading, in-transit and storage situations, costing more than $53.7 million in damages